Archive for the 'video' Category

Cinema Paradiso

August 31, 2007

Alfredo: I’ll tell you a story. Just for you Toto. Let’s sit down. God Almighty! Once upon a time……a king gave a feast. The most beautiful princesses were there. A soldier who was standing guard saw the king’s daughter go by. She was the loveliest one, and he fell instantly in love. But what is a simple soldier next to the daughter of a king? One day he managed to see her and told her he could no longer live without her. The princess was so taken by the depth of his feeling that she said to the soldier:”If you can wait for 100 days and 100 nights under my balcony, I shall be yours.” With that, the soldier went and waited one day, two days……then ten, twenty. Each evening the princess looked out and he never moved! Always there, come rain, come thunder. Birds shat on his head, bees stung him, but didn’t budge. After 90 nights, he had become all dry and pale. Tears streamed from his eyes. He couldn’t hold them back. He didn’t even have the strength to sleep. And all that time, the princess watched him. When 99th night came……the soldier stood up, took his chair, and left.

Toto: How come? Right at the end?

Alfredo: Right at the end, Toto. Don’t ask me what it means, I don’t know. If you figure it out, you tell me.

[Few years later, Toto has learned a bit more about life, and presents his interpretation of the story’s ending.]

Toto: Remember the story about the soldier and the princess? Now I understand why the solider left right at the end. In one more night, the princess would have been his. But she also could not possibly have kept her promise. And that would have been too cruel. It would have killed him. This way, at least, for 99 nights, he was living under the illusion that she was there, waiting for him.

Alfredo: Do as the soldier, Toto. Go away.

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The Science of Sleep

May 23, 2007

Saw this movie last night. It was a real charming gem of a film. I adore anything remotely surrealist, and that explains why Buñuel and Medem are among my favorite filmmakers (I love Miró’s and Dalí’s artwork as well). Michel Gondry is now one of my new favorite directors (he did Eternal Sunshine a few years back), and this movie has now secured a slot in my desert-island top films list.

Gael’s character and myself are very much alike, in many respects (except the artistic part…I can’t draw to save my life), but the fact that we are both big narcoleptics who can’t reconcile real life from reveries takes the cake. His saccharine yet childish antics moved me to pieces. Case in point, he gave Charlotte Gainsbourg a cool time machine he invented as a no-particular-occasion present, and when asked why, he sweetly muttered, “on the occasion that you’re pretty”.

Some have commented that the film left them monumentally bored, but surprisingly the montage of beautiful images and colors engaged my eyes and really left me in a dream-like state for almost two hours. Sheer genius. And Gael and his quirky officemates even performed a slow, jazzy and cutesy song called “If You Rescue Me” (which apparently is a pseudo-cover of a Velvet Underground song) while they were in cat costumes. Such cuteness…

One of the best opening sequences in a movie. Check it out: